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Locating Promises

When things fall apart, the broken pieces allow all sorts of things to enter, and one of them is the presence of God. —Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

Why does a life of faith work out for some and not for others?

Some through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised … [their] weakness was turned to strength …” (Hebrews 11:33-34)

And yet others “were tortured … Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning [Jeremiah the prophet]; they were sawed in two [Isaiah the poet and prophet]. They went about … destitute [the prophets Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, and others] …” (Hebrews 11:35-37)

There is no promise of comfort for those who walk by faith; God does not promise safety. But He does promise His presence.

Jesus is on the path of faith with us. As we walk in trust, there He is. Not only is He with us, but He also lives in us through His indwelling Spirit.

The New Testament is full of promises, but the promises are invisible. Gravity, oxygen, and love remind us that something can be invisible but remain true in its existence. Remembering this, we can approach God’s promises the same way, hearing, believing, and living as though they’re true.

But here’s the rub: If we’re going to live as though the promises are true, then we must know the promises. This week, I encourage you to look for promises as you read through Scripture. What New Testament promises can you find?

One of my favorites is: “I … will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). I can’t see God’s act of not remembering, so I have to visualize its truth. Scripture paints some glorious word pictures of this promise. For instance, we’re told our sins are thrown into the depths of the ocean—20,000 feet below, where it’s frigid and cold (Micah 7:19). You’ve now heard it. Can you believe it? What’s more, can you live like it’s true?

This is how we live by faith.

Jesus, perhaps I don’t know more than a handful of Your promises. I ask for that to change. As I read Your Word this week, allow me to see what is invisible. Amen.

Dive deeper into Hebrews with Pete’s video series Better: A New and Living Way
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